Alumna Creates Cause-Based Marketing Firm to Promote Do-Gooders
When alumna Alexa Loken, SIS/BA ’10, found herself on AU's campus, she was intrigued by the steady buzz of motivated young people ready to change the world. With a few dreams of her own, she had no problem fitting in and expressing her interests. It wasn’t until after meeting her now husband Erik, another AU grad, that she was truly able to hone in on her niche.
“He told me I was destined to be a sales person but I knew I didn’t want to sell products. After graduating from AU and NYU, I figured out that I could definitely sell a service, and I knew I was passionate about it.”
Alexa believes her experience at American University is one of the major contributors to her career success thus far. So we asked her more about it.
Alexa says, “This may sound really cheesy but I really wouldn’t be where I am today had I not gone to AU.” An international relations major, she participated in the Washington Mentorship Program, studied abroad in Malaysia and China, was a member of Alpha Phi Omega co-ed community service fraternity, and Eco-Sense. “I was able to meet so many different people through my involvement at AU, which showed me that if you see a need that isn’t being filled, why not go out and fill it yourself if you have the expertise, financial capabilities, and passion to pursue it?” she says.
Alexa’s resume shows off work all over the country, including New York City, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, and an overseas venture to Beijing. Gaining experience in online marketing, search engine optimization, advertising, print marketing, and grant writing are just a few of the things she has done. During her eight-year stint in the environmental world, she fell in love with non-profits and knew that she wanted to embark on a journey that would utilize her expertise to help organizations reach their full potential through creative marketing services.
In 2013 Alexa launched Loken Creative, a marketing agency for cause-based organizations where innovation, idealism, and expertise create opportunities for good. “I always loved the process of working on a project and moving on to the next project so that I could take the organization to the next level piece by piece. Now, I always tell my clients we want to be their niche, we want to be their extended arm. We aren’t looking to take over their world, only to make their world an easier feat to tackle.”
With 12 staff members, seven of whom are also AU graduates, Alexa shares the advice she has for current students:
“Be sure to dabble in as many different internships, classes, and jobs as you can to really figure out what you like and don’t like in regards to a work environment. Find mentors that will give you constructive criticism and ensure that they are from different walks of life to give you the best well-rounded outlook on life. If you're looking to start your own business, be sure to run a pilot program so that you can scale up over time. Lastly, as long as you can make it work financially, do exactly what you want to do. Sometimes you have to work a second job for a while, but finances should never hinder you from following your dreams.”